The following post was contributed by Oreal Harding, a December 2012 GCU graduate who completed an internship in the GCU Office of Marketing & Communications. While attending GCU, she also worked parttime at Victoria’s Secret and served in GCU’s Work Study program as a Desk Assistant. Oreal, a former dancer and model for GCU’s annual campus fashion show, blogs about her experience as a 2013 Philly Fashion Week participant:
GCU Student Spotlight- Oreal Harding
PHILADELPHIA (September 2013) — Recently I was chosen to participate in my hometown’s Philly Fashion Week. This whole process started in June when a model friend of mine told me about the casting for Philly Fashion Week.
I made sure that I canceled all of my plans just to make the casting. Once I got there I had to fill out a form about myself and contact information. Then we all sat down and waited until we were told to walk for the judges. I walked twice and just like that I was called up and told that I made it.
After that we had a series of “go sees.” What are those? You walk for designers and if they like you they pick you and get your measurements for their line so you can walk in the show. I believe that we had about 5 or 6 “go sees.”
I wasn’t nervous at all. Being a GCU communication major, I learned a lot, especially when it comes to public speaking and reading people’s verbal and nonverbal expressions. I could tell when a designer liked my walk or not. Also I met a few models who were actually signed under agencies such as Wilhelmina, and Embacy.
Also being apart of GCU’s WILD program (Women in Leadership Development), I learned the importance of networking and leaving a good impression with people. I met and spoke with models about their agencies and actually met and gave my business card to Embacy Modeling Agency during one of the shows.
Philly Fashion Week started on Tuesday, September 17 with a Kick Off Party with live music, hair & make-up presentations, and fashion. The night included industry networking and a live Couture editorial shoot. This is also the Official Album Release Party for Recording Artist Charlie Baltimore.
On Wednesday, September 18 there was an accessories pop-up event. This event featured live hair and make-up demos. Accessories designers featured products, accessories, custom shoes, clothing and entertainment. There was also a free photo-shoot for the guests as well as complimentary manicure refreshers, and 5 minute massages.
Thursday’s event was the White Tea Gala. This was a Red Carpet Event and award ceremony (honoring Philadelphia’s Fashion Elite) and fashion show. I loved being a part of this show! We dressed in beautiful gowns and were able to keep them on and network with entertainment. I took pictures, talked to the guests, and met a agency.
Friday brought the Ready to Wear Fashion Show. This was solely just a fashion show that followed with networking afterward. Saturday marked the Haute Couture Runway show, followed by an after party at the Sugar House Casino.
I loved being part of the shows. I felt like a celebrity. We had to be at the events at 11:30 am and from the time you walk in to the time you left at night you were on the go. I came in and went straight to make-up, then hair, then nails, then meetings with the designers to try one clothes, then backstage to do interviews, take pictures, and practice on the runway.
Once the show began, backstage was busy! Models are running around going from scene to scene. I was lucky to not have a fast change. I remember getting dressed, then being checked by the designer(s), then going to hair people to fix my hair, then to make-up to do touch-ups, then finally out on the runway just to come off and do it again.
Overall I enjoyed the experience. I would love to do it again next year. I feel that If I was given this opportunity four years ago before Georgian Court I wouldn’t have been ready or had the necessary tools to open up to people, network and have a great show.
I plan to keep up with modeling and use my communication skills to keep an eye on the media side of the modeling industry as well as being a model. I thank Georgian Court for molding me into the woman that I am today and will be in the future.
For more information: Visit http://www.phillyfashionweek.org and follow Philly Fashion Week on Instagram!
See more GCU photos of Oreal, who participated in the university’s Fall 2013 photo shoot!